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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,661
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Admin Offline OP
[Linked Image]
What type of safety violation do we have here, and/or is it really a safety hazard? Can this be considered an exposed "live parts" violation or merely an improper support violation?


Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Looks like this photo is from Italy, although I see a similar situation with British plugs all too often.

The problem is that with the missing cord grip the wire terminations tend to take all the strain of the cord being tugged and moved, which eventually results in broken connections.

I suppose from a European rules perspective one could also argue that with the sheath not extending right inside the plug the cord does not have its required double insulation -- At least not at the point where it enters the plug!

[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 10-29-2003).]

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
Lots of people don't know how to measure and cut/strip double-insulated cords properly. I've seen the same situation with heavy-duty American plugs.

In Tijuana, Baja California (Mexico) last Summer I noticed some roadies were setting up a stage in front of the big cultural center/museum.

There were a couple of small theatre spot lights on tripods hanging around. The cord of one of these had a nice heavy-duty rubber 125 volt/15amp three-pin replacement plug on it.

The lamp was wired with the black round three-conductor rubber jacketed cord.

However the installer had stripped the outer jacket back too far, leaving about two or three inches of individual conductors showing beyond the end of the handle of the plug.

The cord grip screws were also not tightened, so the metal buckle surrounding the rubber handle that is supposed to squeeze down on the plug was just dangling there uselessly.

It looked similar to what is pictured, except the length of the exposed black, white and green wires was longer.

I've seen this also with extension cords that have been repaired by their owners.

One good yank and that cord will rip out of the plug in a shower of sparks. Even more dangerous with a female connector, I guess. [Linked Image]

Nothing, however, beats the sidewalk-shed folks who use a cord-cap with NM cable coming out of it and connected to either an exterior receptacle or lampholder (via adapter). But that's a whole different beef. [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 10-30-2003).]

Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,498
C-H Offline
Like Paul and Sven have said, the outer sheath should be held by the strain relief inside the plug. I suspect the reason for the cheating is that with a grounded cord as seen in the picture, there very limited space inside the plug.

It is not an immediate hazard, but with time the small bending radius will destroy the wires, creating a fire hazard and/or shock hazard.

Just my $ 0.02 ... sorry... € 0.02

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,492
A very common one [Linked Image]
Almost every power strip or extension cord I see around here has that problem. Sometimes the cord grips are useless right from the beginning, sometimes they're cheap plastic and break, or the people are just not capable of using them properly. Yanking the plug out of the receptacle by tugging on the cord adds to the problem, especially with Schuko plugs that usually grip pretty tight.
The Italian plugs I know are pretty spacious inside, so there's absolutely no reason for doing this, apart from sloppy work or cheap materials.
The picture definitely looks like it's taken in Italy, but why on earth is it labeled 220V? All receptacles there are 220V, apart from red CEE ones.

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
Probably the socket is in a hotel that caters to foreign tourists.

That way, your average USA/Canadian/Mexican or other Northern Latin American (countries with 120 volt domestic supplies) tourist doesn't go ahead and plug in their 120 volt only whatever-it-is and blow it up. [Linked Image]

I wonder if the other number incised into the wall plate is an identity number similar to what some hospitals' maintenance departments here in the USA use to keep track of their receptacles.

So, did you whip out your screwdriver, T-stripper and sidecutters to rewire the plug after you took the picture? [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 10-31-2003).]

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,492
The numbers definitely remind me of those found on the network sockets at my University.
Sven, maybe all you need is a screwdriver. Most European plugs I've wired allow for quite some slack inside, so you can just open the cord grip screws, push the cord back in and retighten them. Though I'd also have a thorough check on the terminal screws, maybe the connections have gotten loose from the strain, and if that thing wasn't installed properly right from the beginning the connections are probably none the better than the strain relief.
BTW, it pretty much looks like a fancy design plug, and those can be pretty flimsy in some instances.
The marks on the cord look like it has once been under the strain relief but has gotten loose. I'd guess loose screws and nice strong pulls on the cord.

Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,498
C-H Offline
The number could be panel and circuit. Here it's common to find little signs above sockets and switches with an ID number in large buildings.

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 12
Junior Member
Whoever guessed that the pic was taken in Italy is absolutely right. Oustanding!

The building where the pic was taken also contains 110V receptacles. For this reason, all receptacles are identified.

The numbers at the top of the cover plate correspond to the panel from which the receptacle is fed.

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 202
not sure about violations but in the usa if thats in a factory or place of buisness and OSHA see's it. Its a fine and we use to have to go around and check all the plugs in the shop once a month after they busted us for it. Most of ours were from people pulling the cord instead of the plug everyday.

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